World Of Tanks Tactics : A Compendium
All you want to know when you’re a beginner or you want to improve
Until 2017, I played World of Tanks (WoT) a lot. Now, somewhat less. Hereunder, you will find both my own personal guide and a "guide to the guides".
I don’t pretend to be a very good player. In terms of win ratio, I’m under average. I don’t pretend either to be able to perfectly follow all of the following tactics. I have simply found them useful : when I implement them, they work. All I hope is they help beginners and other medium level players, allowing them not to spend hundreds of battles before understanding what it takes to play better and to have fun with World of Tanks.
- this guide is *not* intended for the better-than-average player, not at all. Unicums and the like are kindly invited to take into consideration that I’m not addressing their needs
- this guide is updated, but *not* regularly. Which means that some new overpowered (OP) tanks will be missing. And that a number of tanks which used to be OP but no longer are (because they’ve been buffed or because new, more powerful tanks have been launched by the game publisher) will still be listed. Please be reassured : in 90% of cases, choosing that kind of tank is still a good choice.
Table of contents
INTRO : WARNING : WOT IS NOT REALLY FREE-TO-PLAY
World of Tanks is a massively multiplayer online game developed by Belarussian company Wargaming (now based in Cyprus), featuring mid-20th century (1930s–1960s) era tanks and self-propelled artillery.
Here are three major aspects of this game you should keep in mind :
- World of Tanks is a game played by millions players throughout the world. Therefore, it is a very competitive game. If you don’t spend a minimum of one hour per day playing WoT, at least at the beginning, and you don’t concentrate on improving your gameplay, you can’t expect to reach over 49% WR (average win ratio ). Or you’re a natural ;-)
- WoT battles are faster and faster : in average, while in the first years battles generally lasted about 12 mn, they now typically last 6 to 7 mn. A typical effet of "power creep", an old  and very common phenomenon among long lasting card and video games that originates from the need for developers to keep the game fresh, i.e. appealing and therefore ... making money. For details, watch DezGamez’s video Painful Record Losing Streaks and Unbalanced Battles in World of Tanks
- WoT is very addictive. Spending whole nights on it is very common among players who are new to the game. See unicum and video content creator Kajzoo’s opinion on why it’s so addictive
- WoT is rather expensive to play.
Here’s why it is expensive :
- frustration at making very slow progress through the grinding process (grinding here means spending boring time to get to the next tank) or losing too often is a very efficient way to induce players into paying ...
- premium tanks cost a minimum of 10 euros, the average is 35 euros and some rare cost over 70 (up to 99 euros in the case of the Pz. II J). Not all of them are worth buying for the average player (see list of OP tanks below). But the reality is, if you want to play a tier VIII to X and do well enough, you simply have to buy a premium tank. That’s because since 2018, Wargaming has been issuing premiums and as of August 2022, two thirds of them are over 49% WR according to tomato.gg (remember 49 WR is the average win ratio). As said before, this power creep phenomenon is typical of video games. And if you are a competitive player and you play ranked battles, then buying the latest premium tanks is mandatory. Also, if you don’t play very often and aren’t that skilled as a player, you will feel the game is so unbalanced that you will buy premium vehicules just to better your stats, i.e. loose less often
- playing tiers IX and X — the higher tiers — is always very expensive, because at those tiers, if you’re not a unicum (best of the best)  and you play without a premium account, you end most battles with a negative balance in terms of credits — which at some point you have to compensate for. While a premium account gives you 50% more credits and experience. For instance, even if you’re a unicum and you win a tier VIII to X battle, replenishing the ammunition stock and repairing your tank after the battle means you often end up with a negative result in credits, as shown in this replay where a tier X IS-7 kills 13 (out of 15 ...) of the enemy, makes 57 190 credits but in the end loses 19 000 credits simply because he hasn’t got a premium account. So we’re talking a minimum of 90 euros (100 USD) per year, the price of a premium account for that duration. To those 90 euros, you have to add the price of the premium tanks you need to do well in this very competitive game
- gold ammo (APCR) must be bought (with credits). The thing is, if you want to make a difference in a battle where you’re not the higher tier, you just have to bring not one, not two, but at the very least three APCR shells with you. If you don’t have a premium account, in the end, gold ammo eats your credits
- gold ammo may be less expensive if you have a premium account (it can last between one day and one year, but it is much more profitable to buy a month or a year, especially bundled with a premium tank). But remember : a premium account for one year starts at 100 USD.
In the above extract from a screen copy of the results of a victorious battle, the left column shows the actual credits results, and the right column shows what the credits results would have been if the (Russian) player had a premium account. Losing 19 000 credits while killing 13 enemies out of 15 and winning the battle, just because you don’t have a premium (for-a-fee) account — that’s why World of Tanks can be called pay-to-win (it nevertheless remains a fun-to-play game)
As QuickyBaby, a professional player, said — and even wrote — in a 2018 video, « World of Tanks is pay-to-win (P2W) ». At the very least, it is « pay-to-win-more-often », as a clever player put it. Taugrim, a quasi-pro player, writes : « WoT is rife with pay-for-advantage mechanics, but that’s not going to change, and [...] the vast majority of the community doesn’t care either ». See this debate on the subject on a WoT developer’s blog, particularly this post.
The introduction of wheeled vehicles in WoT at the end of 2018 is probably an effect of both the number of players receding  and the usual policy of Wargaming to issue very appealing premium (for-a-fee) vehicules. The designers want to retain or bring back players to the game — and make some more money in the process — with a quite new, over-powered concept. These armored cars, gifted with an insane mobility, all of the French Panhard line, were tested from September to December 2018. They’ve become standard in public battles in January 2019. They start at tier VI and are "too" fast so for the time being they aren’t that attractive to the new player.
All that is basic video game economy.
To know more about the problems of the game (as of 2021), watch
Awesome Epic Guys’ (long) video : Why do people still play World of Tanks : A deep analysis, discussion & history.
So let’s be honest : WoT is not really free-to-play, it’s free-to-test and pay-to-win-more-often or pay-to-progress-faster for at least two thirds of the players. In two years, I spent more than 300 euros on the game.
But let’s be honest (bis) : this pay-to-win aspect is largely mitigated by the player’s experience and does not mean battles are rigged.
Also, if you just complete the missions and use tankrewards.eu for premium time, you get 10 days of premium every 30 days. And you can wait for an offer on premium (usually around Christmas). Playing in clans can also give you additional premium days. A lot of clans today accept below average players. All that may offset a lot of the cost you’d have to pay each year.
The best way to spare your money is to follow this concise piece of advice : Advice for killing all unicums ! :-) from a _WMD_ clan member, a player with more than 40.000 battles.
1) Avoid light tanks and artillerie. For a beginner these are not easy to play.
2) Save free exp for higher tiers to avoid horrendous stock tank grind, I recommend using free exp at 7, 8, 9 as at these tiers running tank costs credits.
3) What to spend gold [or money] on is a good premium tank and garage slots.
4) I recommend a good set of mods, hitskins , zoommod, serverside reticle and tank carousal.
5) Take advantage of sales and events, buy tanks, equipment and consumables at 50% off, you will need to have a stash of credits and free exp saved up for this.
One last note before we deal with tactics : if you’re a beginner at WoT, do not think high tiers (from VII to X) are more fun to play. Not at all. They need more expertise, but they’re not more fun per se. In my opinion, if you’re not that ambitious at WoT, remaining at tiers III to VI is fun, rewarding enough and not too expensive. Tiers IX and especially X  can even be boring because movements are very repetitive (peek-a-boom, back up, reload, peek-a-boom, back up, reload, rinse and repeat) and camping more frequent. In this respect, compared with tiers IX and X public (random) battles, clan wars can be more fun.
TACTICS : SOME 70 TACTICAL RULES
What follows is the most useful tactics for beginners (so called "noobs") and under-medium-level players.
– 0. If you’re in a hurry, read/watch the WoT wiki’s Tactics page. Not all tricks and tactics are listed there but the drawings are very clear.
– 1. Wait ! Don’t rush. I repeat : DO-NOT-RUSH. At the beginning of the battle, wait for approximately 3 seconds to see where your allies are going, then :
a. see whether one flank of the map would really need more allies. If not (which is generally the case at tiers 3 and above), go with the flow, according to your type of tank : i.e. TDs generally stay close to base, lights scout along the mid-map line, heavies go to choke points and mediums support heavies (for more information, look for guides dedicated to one type of tank in the Webography below)
b. identify the allies you could team up with (e.g. follow an experienced player if you’re a beginner or accompany a heavy if you drive a medium)
c. move accordingly.
The simple fact of not rushing immediately to the front line, of letting other, more experienced players on your team reach the front line before you do, will save you a lot of hit points (hp, i.e. your health), which in turn will allow you to survive till the end of the battle when the winners are those with the maximum health (see rule 2. Avoid getting shot).
If one flank/side of the map is undermanned, try to convince your allies to send enough tanks to that side (the strict minimum is three tanks, with no lights among them), *but* in public/free-for-all battles, that generally doesn’t work so be prepared to follow the "lemming trail" (i.e. the biggest stream of allied tanks) more often than not, just so you don’t hold the undermanned flank and sacrifice yourself with no clear advantage to the team. I repeat : if one flank isn’t covered at all, then don’t sacrifice yourself to hold it, that would be useless. You’ll get overrun very quickly, which means you won’t make a difference. In that case, I recommend even arties go with the flow. Or at least hide the farthest possible from base.
There are two exceptions to this rule but only if you’ve become somewhat experienced (more than 1000 battles) : see rules 53. and 54.
– 2. Avoid getting shot. In other words : don’t put yourself in a position that will get you easily shot. Do not stand obviously in view of the enemy. Don’t take that second shot — go back to cover instead (the reason is your tank looses all camouflage after having fired : every enemy can see it — and will fire on it). If you drive a TD (TD = tank destroyer/anti-tank, their sign is a triangle turned upside down) or a light tank, hide, run and relocate as often as possible. In a word : do not expose yourself.
Keep your health — referred to as hit points (hp) — as if you’ve only had 1 hit point left from the start of the battle. Save health for the end. Statistics show that at the end of the battle, the winning team is generally the one with the most health. Being low on health means you’re a one shot and you can’t possibly help your team because you can’t take any risk.
– 3. Stay alive. Once you’re dead, you can’t do a thing, right ? Do avoid "suiscout" (suicide scouting : running to the enemy base, trying to reap as many first spot points as possible). And once again, don’t take that second shot, go back to cover instead.
– 4. Play according to tier and win rates (WR) : yours and your opponents’. For instance, if your heavy tank is tier 5 and you encounter a majority of tier 6 and 7, it would be foolish to play it the way heavies are generally recommended to play (i.e. go to the front line and take hits). On the contrary, you should stay behind your own higher tier heavies (not too close, otherwise they can’t retreat when needed) or act as a TD. If you’ve got a low win rate, join a player who’s got a good WR and support him — but don’t bother him, for instance don’t stand in his line of fire.
The preceding advice is very important and often overlooked by new or even somewhat experienced players. You shouldn’t always play according to the tutorials (including this one) aka « avoiding fixed thinking is a good idea ». The general idea is that the higher your tier in the battle, the more aggressive you should be. See Lord_Demon’s excellent advice on that .
To know others’ tiers and win rate :
- compare your own tier with the others’ (the tier is written in Latin digits near the icon of tank) before the battle starts and determine whether you are low, mid or high tier in the battle
- use the XVM mod to see win rates in battle.
– 5. Never go/stay alone unless you’re a scout or a unicum (a unicum is a darn good player, strictly speaking he’s among the 0,1% best). Work by twos at the minimum. When one is attacked, back him up by shooting when he reloads or by outflanking the opponent and shooting him in the flank or rear. Also check your mini-map every 20 seconds to see if your support ran away.
– 6. If alone — which shouldn’t happen to you if you followed the previous rule — and outnumbered, either a. you have a fast tank so join your remaining allies or reposition yourself quickly in the back or the side of the enemy or b. you have a slow one so you hide with a maximum of walls or rocks behind you and on your sides so that the enemy have to be in your line of fire to get you.
– 7. Run, hide, fire. Run for a brief moment. Then hide for a brief moment (ideally a little more than 15 seconds) while checking where the enemy is visually by outfocusing and checking the minimap (see rule 51. Situational awareness). Then fire ONE shot — just one (two shots if and only if your rate of fire is very, very, very high) — otherwise you’ll get fired on in the next second. Then either run etc. (repeat the process) or take cover by moving backwards to reload and fire again (see rule 9. Peek-a-boom).
– 8. Don’t be greedy ! One of the most frequent mistakes — and the most dangerous — of beginners is to keep firing bravely on an enemy ... and getting killed in a handful of seconds because every enemy can see you (firing causes you to lose all camouflage). Totally useless. Surviving and retaining your hit points is key to success (see rule 2. Avoid getting shot).
– 9. Peek-a-boom . If you’re hiding behind an obstacle and and one enemy is on the other side (be it close or far away) : step out just a little bit just after he has fired (i.e. while he is reloading) then shoot him in a weak spot, then fall back/take cover ASAP to reload. And again. Don’t use this tactic if you’re not good and quick at precision shooting. Also, if you’ve got enough space to move and you don’t need to counter the enemy ASAP, try to reappear a. not at the same place and b. at least after a 10 seconds’ wait. Why 10 secs ? Because that’s the maximum time  your tank remains silhouetted (even though you’re under cover and they can’t see you) after having fired.
For example, see what the unicum Martin WaterWar is doing in the battle hereunder : he spends half the battle in the same place, moving a few meters out of cover, shooting the closest enemy tank or a far one targeting him, retreating under cover, and again. Note that he’s constantly keeping in mind where the enemy tanks, be they close or far away, are and which ones are the most dangerous, so as not to get into their line of fire when he gets out of cover.
For a detailed discussion of peek-a-boom tactics, look at this video from Sir Havoc, starting at 9:35, and pay attention to his commentary.
A variant of the peek-a-boom is when you want to cross an open space or a street and you don’t know if there’s an enemy tank waiting for you : instead of simply crossing and hoping for the best, peek with just your sprocket (the wheel at the front of your tracks), instantly retreat and wait for the sixth sense lamp to light up — or not. See Kajzoo’s demonstration.
– 10. Don’t stay too long in a position where you are the only one blocking the enemy’s advance and you have a lot of them in front of you (approx. 3 or more). Fire one, two or three shots, then retreat under cover far away enough (100 m away is a strict minimum). If you don’t, they’ll clobber you or they’ll outflank you and shoot you from behind.
– 11. If you have to choose between firing and moving (for instance because an enemy has just appeared behind you), move first, you’ll see whether you are in a firing position afterwards.
– 12. Take your time to aim properly : you will miss less often. This is especially true for artilleries and TDs. Also, some tanks have a very limited number of shells. And if you wait until the gun reticle has shrunk to its minimal size, the chances your shell will miss are the lowest. One last reason for aiming properly : if you miss and therefore did not stop your opponent, during your reload time he will aim better, he will come closer to you, you will make a better target for him and in the end you will be much more likely to get shot. The one and only exception to this rule is when you are attacked at very close range by a faster tank : you don’t have time to aim, and if you wait, he will "circle-of-death" you. So aim approximately and fire ASAP.
– 13. Focus your fire. Emulate your closest ally by firing at the same target. This will get rid of the enemy tank very quickly and less enemy tanks means less guns firing at you. And less guns firing at you means your chances of winning increase.
– 14. Aim for the weak spots of the enemy tanks. Generally the weak spots are :
- rear and side of the hull. So whenever possible, try to outflank the enemy tank
- the turret sides
- the commander’s cupola (the hatch on top of the turret)
- the lower front glacis (LFG). This is a must-know when confronted to German or Russian opponents : apart from the commander’s cupola (which is difficult to target because of its small size), it will often be their only weak spot on the front
- view ports, machine gun port, and hatches elsewhere on the vehicle. But beware : some of them aren’t actually modelled ingame and just visual but no weak spot
- the front and rear of the tracks are the equivalent of a weak spot : the enemy will be stopped for a few seconds at least and during that time it will become an easy target. Permatrack him and he’ll be a sitting duck for your arty
- a not well known weak spot : the fuel tanks, which are easily hit by shooting slightly above the tracks behind the turret.
Learn by heart the major weak spots of all major tanks, especially the weak spots on their front. The best tools to do so are :
- begin with Wot Guru’s Weak Spots Guides
- then move on to : tanks.gg 3D Model tab (the simplest one of all three), Tank Inspector or the Armor Inspector from WoT Inspector. More details on those three tools above in the Visualising armor in detail section of this post.
The green areas are the most easily penetrable. On top is the commander’s cupola and at the botton the lower front glacis, two very frequent and easy-to-remember weak spots (image from WoTGuru)
– 15. Premium ammo (sometimes called gold shells) (APCR ) and HEAT/HESH  are very expensive in credits. Make AP (so called "silver") your default ammo and only buy 2 to 3 gold shells per battle. Do not forget to charge from AP to APCR or HEAT (so called "gold") when confronted to heavies. But for the above mentioned reason, don’t take the habit to systematically fire gold.
Note 1 : gold ammo is less expensive if you have a premium account. But remember : a premium account for one year starts at 100 USD.
Note 2 : if you’re a try hard or you want to improve your WR/WN8, then spam gold. Take as many as two thirds of your ammo in gold.
– 16. HE (High Explosive). That type of shell is only used by experienced players. It has a devastating effect on lightly armored vehicules, i.e. they can one-shot artillery and two-shot light tanks and open-top tank destroyers. HE is also useful against hull down tanks. In a kill-or-be-killed situation, when the enemy is not heavily armored or has lost most of its pool of hit points, they can make the difference. But they are ineffective against heavies’ best armored parts. As an exception, HE are efficient against the O-I and O-I Exp Japanese super heavies, even when they’re high on health.
– 17. Equipment (i.e. improved binocular telescope, improved ventilation, coated optics, gun rammer, gun laying drive, turbocharger ...) and field modifications : how to choose the best suited ones. Follow the recommendations on the WoT wiki page dedicated to your tank (just google wot name_of_tank then click on the result in English named "name_of_tank - Global wiki. Wargaming.net"). They’re reliable in most cases. Or follow the recommandations of unicum professional player (and full-time streamer, aka "community contributor") Skill4ltu’s Index web site.
If unsure, search the WoT forums with the name of your tank and the word equipment.
There are four kinds of equipment :
- standard. You buy those with credits
- improved. To purchase it, you’ll need bonds — a special currency that can only be earned in certain battle modes, missions and in-game activities, mainly in Ranked Battles
- bounty. Bounty equipment is earned in certain events, like Battle Pass
Currently, the improved compressor and increased shell resistance improved equipment cannot be purchased for bonds. You can only receive this equipment as a reward for in-game events (Ranked Battles).
More information on equipment can be found on this page written by Wargaming.
Standard equipment : if you can’t find any info on that because the tank is too recent — or as a general rule —, use :
- optics or (if in a slow TD) binoculars (binocs) : they enable you to see much farther than the stock value of the tank, therefore to hit more enemies. Optics work even when you’re on the move. Binocs only activate when you’re immobile
- gun rammer : it accelerates the gun reload
- vents : this gives a 5% boost to the crew and the tank performances, one of them being the gun’s accuracy.
Improved equipment : on all slow heavies and TDs, you can replace one of the three above by turbocharger and improved compressor. See DezGamez’s video New Improved Compressor = Game Changer ! to know more about them. On brawling tanks, especially medium ones, improved hardening (it basically is a hp booster) is recommended because they take a lot of damage.
Bounty equipment is only accessible to players who have played in ranked battles — and won enough of them.
The most recent kind of equipement, experimental equipment, arrived in update 1.19. See Quickybaby’s video to learn about it.
Beware, even standard equipment is very expensive in credits (generally 500 000 credits for binoculars, for instance) so don’t buy them if you’re short of credits (i.e. under 1 million). Otherwise, you run the risk of becoming broke and having to sell some tanks and go back to tiers 1 to 3 for a long time (it is impossible to play as long as you don’t have enough credits to repair your tanks and to buy ammunition).
Also, keep some gold to be able to demount standard equipment once you’re done with a tank. It costs 10 gold per piece and saves up to 300 000 credits.
A list of standard equipment, presented the old way
NB : starting at tier 6, tanks can be modified by field modifications (generally called "field mods"). In a nutshell, field mods is a set of tools for fine-tuning specific technical characteristics of your tanks, which will become available once they acquire elite status. To learn more about it, have a look at Wargaming’s general information page. Again, see Skill4ltu’s Index web site to learn about the best way to parameter field mods for each tank. Or refer to Iyouxin’s video on field mods.
– 18. Your back and the upper part of your flanks (i.e. not your tracks) are the weakest part of your armor. Face the enemy (therefore you have to know where he is : see rule 51. Situational awareness) and NEVER expose your flanks. But if you estimate you can’t fight him, turn your back to him as soon as possible and run to a hiding place because tanks are much slower in reverse.
– 19. Angle/slant your front armor towards the enemy. This increases your tank’s effective hull armor. The recommended angle depends on the tank but here is a rule of thumb : when pointing your gun to the enemy, it should be positioned directly over your right or left front wheel — never over your side.
Nevertheless, if you drive a "glass canon" (fragile TD with "paper" armor), you can forget about angling because it’s useless.
– 20. In corners, "side-scraping" allows your turret to have a line of sight/your gun to bear without over-exposing your armor.
From TheIrishLegend’s video tutorial Advanced Heavy Tank Strategies
– 21. Hull down. If your turret armor is good (heavy tanks, especially American ones, and most of the German and Russian tanks), whenever possible, try to hide your hull behind an obstacle (a rock, a sand dune, a small wall or any declivity), leaving only your turret visible. This is very efficient because the turret front (especially the mantle, the area around the base of the gun) is generally the tank’s strongest armored part and because most of the weak spots are on the hull. Also, since this makes you a much smaller target, you’re much more difficult to hit.
NB : not all maps will give you obvious, easy to use places for hull down tactics such as a rock cut down exactly to the height of your turret. Generally, you will need to use a slope and position yourself at some distance from its top. In this case, you will also need to have a gun with good depression.
Hull down position on a slope (from Wikipedia). The red dotted line shows which part of your tank the enemy in front will see.
– 22. Don’t block your team mates shot. Don’t stand in their line of fire.
And please don’t sit in a TD’s position behind a bush near base. This means a. you’re not doing your job and b. worse, you’re preventing an ally from doing his.
– 23. If you’re driving a fast tank and are confronting an enemy with a slow rate of fire in a street or a narrow valley, instead of hiding behind an obstacle, you have the option to overrun him : accelerate forward, rush him and shoot him in the flank and then in the back. That’s particularly efficient if your tank is a fast-firing one.
See for instance what this Russian player is doing in the video hereunder with his Object 260 to the powerful but slow to reload Caernarvon (at 5:00). At the same time, this is not the best example since the Caernarvon outreloads the 260.
– 24. NEVER cross an open field. Use a line of trees/bushes/hills/dunes/rocks/houses/killed tanks/a river bed or make a detour to get to the desired place
– 25. NEVER attack trough the middle of the map : it’s the killing zone. Always attack through the aisles, even if they are blocked by enemy fire. Also, this rule means that when, about 30 to 40 seconds after the start of the battle, you’re about to reach the middle of the map, you should stop and take a few seconds to assess the situation.
As for all rules, there are a bunch of exceptions :
- if there’s a town in the center of the map (Abbey or Fisherman’s Bay towns are typical examples), you should at least occupy it and hold it — and sometimes attack through it
- if you’re in light tank, at the beginning you have to light up the enemy tanks for your team so you go center at full speed along the ridge line (but you don’t stay here)
- another exception will happen when you’re a better player driving a heavy tank and you know what you’re doing : this time, you will be able to use the center of the map to control the map and inform your team mates about the location of the enemy. But that’s not for beginners
- there are other exceptions, depending on the map, but to master them, you need to be above average (48-49% WR is average) and this guide is not for good players but for beginners and average ones.
– 26. Speed. Don’t count on your speed to evade shells. Always think about where you will hide after and if possible during your move. Use your speed only to get to a good position at the beginning of the battle or to relocate when having been spotted. Specifically :
- don’t go yolo (going full speed into the enemy ranks)
- and don’t suiscout (used for light, fast tanks who go full speed into enemy territory just to get as much credits as possible by being the first to spot as many enemies as possible ... and then die quickly, therefore not really helping their team).
– 27. Move ! Never stay at the same place more than a few seconds after having fired or having been spotted. 5 seconds is a maximum. Otherwise, you’re a sitting duck for enemy tanks, especially artillery — in other words, it’s a matter of seconds before arty, a TD or a bigger tank "frags" you. Always bear in mind that even if you don’t see any enemy, enemy arty sees you. Some arties can kill you in two shots.
What are the alternatives ? :
- play peek-a-boom (see rule 9.)
- or relocate (see rule 7.)
- a particular case : when you face an enemy and you’re hiding partially between an obstacle and you’re sure arty can’t hit you (i.e. you’re close to wall or a rock), move back and forth to thwart enemy’s aim.
See for instance what the Russian player is doing in the video hereunder with his Object 260 (starting at 0:32).
IF you have sixth sense, move back directly after shooting. If you’re not lit up, you can remain there. If you’re spotted, dont repeak unless you’re sure you’re no longer spotted and won’t get lit up getting into position before you shoot. Repeaking is dangerous.
– 28. Get under cover when you reload, even if your reload time is very quick (under 3 seconds). When you’re in a heavy, know your reload time by heart. See rule 7. Run, hide, fire and rule 9. Peek-a-boom.
– 29. How to use bushes (1). How to hide *in* the bushes. Bushes or fallen trees hide your tank to the enemy’s eyes — unless an enemy’s closer than 50 meters. Hide just behind the bushes or in them. This way, it’s easier for you to detect enemy tanks approaching and you don’t depend on others to scout for you. However, if, apart from your gun, there is but a small part of your tank that sticks out of the bush (the commander’s cupola, a sprocket), you will be spotted. And as soon as you have fired, you become spotted.
How to hide *away* from the bushes. If you hide more than 15 meters from the bushes (you know you’re 15 m away when suddenly they’re not transparent any more for you), you can fire without being spotted.
– 30. How to use bushes (2) : the invisible tank. Put the cursor over the nearest enemy while he is still far away. The distance to the target is highlighted. If it is over 445 m, you can’t be seen. It’s possible to stay between 450 and 700 m and be completely invisible the entire game. Once the enemy moves closer, just move away and continue being an invisible sniper while your team spots for you. If someone else is spotting the enemy, stay 15m+ behind the bush and fire all you want — the enemy won’t be able to see you. Move into the bush to spot, then back out of the bush 15m+ to fire — the enemy will remain on the screen for a few seconds while you are backing up and aiming, and then you won’t turn the bush translucent when you fire. Invisible sniper.
This old video is otherwise still accurate, but fallen trees do give camo bonus nowadays.
NB : for unheard of sniping positions (which often use bushes), see point 6. in Maps tactics.
– 31. How to use bushes (3) : looking for the invisible tank. If you see an enemy tank silhouetted behind a very light cover (bushes or wood planks) and it suddenly disappears, this doesn’t mean it’s gone very far. It’s just gone a few meters away. So you may still fire at where it was two seconds ago.
– 32. How to use bushes (4) : looking for TDs. Bushes with a view on a large area are THE place where TDs will hide. Know your map, look for them, search them, fire blind at them.
– 33. Under train carriages. If the enemy tank is hidden by a train, try to aim for its tracks. Yes, by firing under the train carriage !
– 34. No pain, no gain. Aka campers are losers. Camping (staying near one’s base and waiting there for the enemy to come), while being the easiest tactic to devise, and the more comfortable in the beginning, generally ends in a sudden defeat. Because you give the enemy all the necessary time to scout your perimeter and light up all your tanks on their mini-maps, then their arties start aiming at you while their heavies and TDs prepare to move just a few meters away from you and as soon as they appear in your scope, they fire their gold shells on all your first line’s weak spots. You are now 2 to 3 tanks down, outnumbered, confused and trying to retreat ...
– 35. If playing scout, do *not* fire on the enemy. You won’t penetrate it, you will lose all your camouflage, therefore you will get spotted and most probably destroyed in ten seconds.
There are two exceptions to this rule : you should shoot a. arties any time (because they have no armor) and b. all tanks (in the back) at the very end of the game.
– 36. If a medium, a heavy, a TD or an arty has its back to a big stone, a wall or the red limit of the map, don’t try to kill it. Spot it for arties and bring the big tanks.
– 37. If you are in a corridor/bottleneck/funnel and you’re blocked by one or more enemy tanks, leave the same number of tanks to contain them, but only well armored ones (*not* scouts, they have neither the firepower nor the armor), then outflank them with the rest of the tanks. Don’t wait, do that quickly or *they* will outflank you. If there is no way to outflank them, don’t take stupid risks, just hold the position and either wait for them to make a mistake or — better — send one fast tank with a powerful gun (a fast TD, for example) to try and peek-a-boom the nearest enemy.
OK, this relies on teamplay. But you get the idea.
– 38. When you’re David (v. Goliath) or : When you face a stronger tank. If your tank is slow, face him and shoot his belly (so called "lower front glacis" or LFG ; only if it’s a German or a Russian), his machine gun slot, the commander’s cupola or the front wheel. If your tank is fast, outflank him and shoot his side or — much better — his back. If you’re too close to escape his fire, run to him in zigzags, angling your tank. Then "circle of death" him — only if you’re good at that (if not, train yourself).
– 39. When you’re Goliath, or Tactics for heavies. If you’re among the three heavier tanks (biggest guns, heavier armor) among your allies, it’s your job to make the push and take the shots for your team mates.
But don’t go into open spaces and don’t try to climb hills, you’re too slow for that. Prefer cities/villages/houses/walls, corridors between rocks or ridges. Although it has good armor, keep your tank angled (see also Taugrim’s guide to angling) and hull down (see rule 21.) and use sidescraping (see rule 20.).
You have armor, so you can take a few seconds to expose yourself to the enemy’s fire in order for your gun reticle to close in on them.
You’re slow, especially when moving in reverse, so don’t be greedy, because in case you get yourself into a bad situation, making a U-turn or going backwards won’t be a viable option. Finally, you’re ... heavy, so you can ram all enemies but heavies.
NB : at least one very good player recommends to use one’s heavy as a scout. In his video How To Not Suck In Your Heavy Tanks, he gives four other excellent tips — not to be followed if you’ve played less than 1000 battles.
– 40. Auto aim : when to use it. When circling an enemy, it’s difficult to aim at the same time, so use the in game auto aim (to activate it, right click on or near your target ; it will stay on the target till you turn it off, lose sight of the enemy, or it gets destroyed). The other situation in which you can use auto aim effectively is when you’re chasing down a target from behind in a straight line. But do NOT use auto aim in any other situation because it aims at the center of the tank (it does not know weak spots), so if you use auto aim while firing at the front of the target, you’re going to hit its highly protected upper front plate. Also, auto aim is unable to lead the target.
For special uses of auto aim, read this forum thread (in French). It contains interesting suggestions, such as ShinGetsu’s one : when he’s aiming at a stationery enemy at more than 400 m, he use auto aim to be sure not to miss it.
NB : Claus Kellerman has uploaded an excellent video on a useful alternate way to auto aim and how to set it up. Watch it.
– 41. Avoid putting yourself into positions you can’t get out of. Always look for paths for retreat or stay with your allies. And check your minimap !
– 42. When an enemy tank reaches the top a hill, it cannot fire down on you from there until it has reached the down slope. So you may stay on the slope and shoot at the opponent when it appears, right in its vulnerable belly, before it can even point its gun on you. Another alternative is retreating quickly down hill backwards when facing a better opponent and firing at him whenever he tries to go down the slope, provided you can find some cover or allies at some point — not too late.
But beware : there are a lot of tanks with enough gun depression to shoot you.
– 43. Keep into account/learn by heart the enemy tank’s reload time. This is especially useful when you’re fighting a corner (city/village battles).
– 44. When fighting around a corner or in a street, if you choose a static position, don’t forget to angle your tank or to sidescrape (see rule 39.). Try not to show the enemy your side. But the best tactic, generally, is moving forward just enough to see the extremity of the opponent (the best target being the front sprocket because then the enemy can’t move), fire on it and then go back very quickly. If you pilot a fast tank and your opponent is alone, try to go full speed, overrun the enemy and shoot it in the side and the back. If the curve of the corner goes inverted (like a hole in the curve), defend the corner from this "hole" but watch out for not being overrun — which means you can’t do it alone, you need at least another allied tank behind you.
– 45. If playing a TD, always find a well hidden place with a clear line of sight/fire. Generally, it is located on slopes, small hills and in bushes/under trees or behind a rock.
– 46. When waiting for the enemy to come, especially if you’re in a TD, do not look to where your allies are. Instead, look the other way. That’s because an experimented opponent will not go straight for the trap but instead will try to flank you.
– 47. If you are engaging multiple targets, take out the most dangerous and the weaker one first. Look for the remaining hit points. Concentrate your fire on that tank and don’t stop until you take him out of the battle. Erase heavies and powerful, "glass cannon" TDs first (glass cannon = devastating gun but no armor).
– 48. How to cap (1). Do not capture the enemy base ("cap") until you are 100% sure to have gained total supremacy, i.e. you have killed all but one of your enemies, he is not a dangerous tank and you still have 3 or more tanks. Why ? Because capturing the enemy base indicates where you are, maintaining the capture puts you at a disadvantage because it limits your movements, and generally base areas offer very few protection and places to hide.
Nevertheless, it can be efficient to drive into the "cap", then "decap" shortly after and hide around the enemy base to snipe at them. "Caping" generally induces the enemy to approach its base.
– 49. How to cap (2). [exception to the rule above] When the end of the battle looks like it will be a draw (3 v. 3 for example or the last enemly cannot be found), don’t hesitate to capture the enemy base quickly, even though good players may oppose it.
– 50. How to cap (3). When you’re close to the enemy base, look for arties or enemy tank hidden near the base — that’s very common. Get rid of them first before "capping".
– 51. Situational awareness (SA) : make the mini-map bigger and glance at it every five seconds (according to LuckyLeopard, a 54% WR player, ignoring the minimap is the #1 noob mistake), look for enemies behind you and on your flanks, do not concentrate all your attention on the opposite tank/the tank you’re firing on (cf rule 4. : run, hide, shoot, run ...) and know where your allies are to check whether they need help. In one sentence : it’s the tank you haven’t seen that will kill you, so « unzoom and look around yourself/over your shoulder after every single shot » (as unicum player Kajzoo puts it). More about it.
NB : a very useful setting for the minimap is checking the following three options in the general settings :
- Show the view range circle
- Show the minimum spotting range
- Show the draw circle.
– 52. Strategy (1). Maps / Location. ON ANY GIVEN MAP, LEARN BY HEART WHERE TO GO AND HIDE AND WHERE NOT TO. At tier 3 and over, WoT is (mostly) a game of where-should-I-be. Being in the wrong place will get you killed very quickly. See map related tactics infra. Especially, learn where to stop after the first run at the start of the battle, depending on the map (generally at the bushes/ridge/town just before the middle of the map). If you go too far (i.e. into the enemy firing line), you’ll get killed very fast and very easily. There are three ways to learn map strategy and stop being a poor player :
- study well known resources dedicated to learning maps tactics such as the WoT Guru MapStrategy Guides and pro unicums’ videos on Youtube or Twitch. See "Guides and tutorials - Whole web sites and YouTube and Twitch channels" at the beginning of the "Webography" (useful links, especially tutorials) section